There was no hint of trouble on the horizon — none at all. Having published our winter edition, the Hello Monaco team took a short Christmas vacation. Early January, we were already working on our spring edition, anticipating the arrival of the high season in Monaco with its array of cultural, sports and business events. Spring 2020 looked particularly inviting, full of new Galas and Balls. The coronavirus pandemic, however, unexpectedly introduced its ugly head.
The famous Ball of Roses traditionally opening the spring season and bringing the first guests to the Principality was the first event to be cancelled. Who would have thought that the legendary Rolex Masters would not happen in April? From then on, events were postponed and cancelled on a daily basis: the Cannes Film Festival, The Historic Grand Prix, the Formula 1 Grand Prix, Monte-Carlo Fashion Week, the 5th artmonte-carlo salon. The Princess Charlène Foundation’s debut gala evening was scheduled for May 16 at the Sporting Monte-Carlo, but the coronavirus pandemic put paid to that also.
Would you believe that the photo session for the Hello Monaco spring edition at the Hôtel de Paris actually took place on Friday, March 13th? Back then all the staff were already working in masks and gloves. That was the day when the quarantine in France was announced. Unlucky Friday the 13th struck! Could it have been just a coincidence or a sign?
After the quarantine in Monaco was introduced, the spring edition of our magazine had to be postponed. Over 30 % of our articles became dated and had to be replaced. Once we had a clearer vision of the current situation, we decided to go back to it. We did carry on with our online publications, however, posting daily news both on our websites and on social networks. We are grateful to the famous Monaco residents who enthusiastically endorsed our campaign #stopcoronainmonaco with their messages of support and tips on quarantining. Thank you all very much!
This lockdown has given us a new perspective on what needed to be included in this issue, a chance to make adjustments, to prioritize, and think about the future. Please welcome this spring-summer edition of Hello Monaco magazine created in «war» conditions. We will focus on our Prince’s 15 years reign over the Principality (its anniversary was celebrated on March 31). You will also find a fascinating story about Princess Charlène. Do you know that the quarantine we have just experienced was not the first in Monaco’s history. The quarantine introduced during the plague of 1631 was twice as long as ours, and anyone leaving the house was punishable by death! Read about it in our History Pages.
Life is steadily going back on track. Many of us, however, will now have a different outlook on what we used to be taking for granted. Some of us can’t wait for the spas to reopen. Our journalist Louise Simpson has visited some top French Riviera spas and is happy to give her first-hand recommendations. Please read Louise’s «Tried and Tested» reviews in our Wellness & Beauty section.
After the quarantine, even a mere walk with no time limit appears a great treat … Stroll through Monaco’s parks and gardens thanks to our colourful Sightseeing photo session. And we are definitely all dreaming of going back to our favourite cafes and restaurants. Enjoy the delicious food served by the New Wave restaurants in our Fine Dining section.
Enjoy your reading and stay healthy!